You may have heard we are one generation away from being a nation without Christianity. If that seems odd to you then let me explain. If day after day the bank of a levy is eroded, eventually the water starts to trickle down the side. At that point, water and erosion shows its true power. Little by little the erosion makes the opening larger and eventually washes away large sections of the levy which then causes flooding of the nearby area. Likewise if year after year fewer people go to church you will eventually have couples getting married who no longer attend church. We are currently well into that right now. I know plenty of people who were raised as Christians, but if they ever darken the doorstep of a church, I am not aware of it. It is sad, because many of them were raised in the church. Some of them used to go, but have fallen away. We need to do something about this problem. There are many things that can be done,but I think the most important thing we can do is pray.
It would be nice to see more people in church, but I want to be clear on something, I am not saying force your child to go to church or Christianity is doomed. Maybe you will recall the following: Proverbs 22:6 English Standard Version (ESV) Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. I don’t think that this means that you force your child to go to church. It means train them. We have to somehow impart our Christian walk on them. I could get completely off-track and dive into something on parenting, but that would be counter-productive, plus there are many people with more wisdom in this manner than I. All I know is that I have too many friends who were forced to go and now no longer do. There are things we can do to make the service more appealing to the younger generation. I am probably one of the few people my age who actually enjoy listening to hymns. Probably 99.9% of all children and a large percentage of adults below some ever increasing age do not like singing hymns. At some point, when we are ready, we will need to move back into more praise style music. Fr. Lafferty is working on that. We need to provide events that are appealing to younger people. I think we have made great progress in this regard with the Kidztown focus on the Strawberry Festival. I hope that continues to be a good focus and helps us to grow in influence within our community. Still my purpose in this blog is to not lay out a plan for St. Georges, but to discuss this problem of the church dwindling. We are living at a time when people don’t know that the bible says. When I get into arguments over the morality and the culture of sin that exists in our country, people are no longer appalled by it because they don’t even think that it is sinful. If two people say its love, then who are they to disagree with them? It is sad, because truth for them is relative. They say that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Let’s look at a bible passage that gives us a practical example of that. 2 Kings 22:8-13 (Hilkiah Finds the Book of the Law) 8 And Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord.” And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it. 9 And Shaphan the secretary came to the king, and reported to the king, “Your servants have emptied out the money that was found in the house and have delivered it into the hand of the workmen who have the oversight of the house of the Lord.” 10 Then Shaphan the secretary told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read it before the king. 11 When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes. 12 And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Micaiah, and Shaphan the secretary, and Asaiah the king's servant, saying, 13 “Go, inquire of the Lord for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found. For great is the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.” Matthew Henry’s Commentary suggests that this “Book of the Law” was either the actual book written by Moses or an authentic copy. He also suggests that God must have been involved in this to safeguard this book. Evil people might not have wanted their deeds revealed, but their guilty conscience prevented them from destroying the book outright. Good people might have realized that the evil kings before might have sought to destroy it and thus tried to hide it hoping that someone good might find it in the future. But therein lies the problem, it could be a LONG long time before such a book is found. There are plenty of science fiction movies that have similar moments and not always for the better. You may recall in the movie, The Planet of the Apes. The main character George Taylor is an astronaut and he thinks he has crash landed on some planet, where apes rule and humans are slaves. He doesn’t realize that he is on Earth, just in the future. It is not until the end, when he escapes that he finds the buried Statue of Liberty that he realizes that he is on Earth and some terrible nuclear war must have taken place. Those are just two examples of who things can go terribly wrong when information is lost. Let me close with prayer, because I believe that after everything else that we try to do, we need to pray. I pray that my children do not walk away from their faith. I pray that if they do, that they return before long. Likewise, I pray for our whole church and the children in it. I pray for all of the children who are now adults and have turned from you God. I pray that you motivate them in only the way that will work for each of them to turn back to you. I pray that each of us will raise up our family, friends, and neighbors in prayer, that they may come to know the love that you have for each of us Lord Jesus. Thank you for hearing my prayer. In your name, Jesus, I pray. Amen.